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Nutr Res. 2008 Apr;28(4):233-8. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2008.02.004.

High intake of fruits and vegetables predicts weight loss in Brazilian overweight adults.

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  • 1Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, SP 14049-900, Brazil.


To determine whether changes in dietary intakes predict weight loss, we studied 80 overweight adults who attended a nutritional counseling program during 6 months of follow-up at a primary health care center in Brazil. Habitual diet was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire at baseline and after 6 months. The mean age (+/-SD) of the participants was 46.5 +/- 9.5 years, and their mean body mass index was 29 +/- 3 kg/m(2) at baseline. After 6 months, the differences in body weight and fruit/vegetable intake were -1.4 +/- 3 kg and +/-109 +/- 320 g daily, respectively. Using multiple linear regression models adjusted for age, sex, changes in walking time, and total energy intake, the increased intake of dietary fiber from fruits/vegetables was associated with a greater weight loss (beta1 [95% confidence interval (CI)] = -0.180 [-0.269, -0.091]) after 6 months of follow-up. Similar results were observed for increased intake of vegetables (beta1 [95% CI] = -0.00497 [-0.008, -0.002]) and fruits (beta1 [95% CI] = -0.00290 [-0.005, -0.001]) as predictors of weight loss. The increase of 100 g/d of vegetables and fruits represented a body weight loss of 500 and 300 g after 6 months, respectively (P < .05). Our findings support the relevance of increased intakes of fruits and vegetables that may help avoid weight gain in overweight adults.

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